Over 750 children from eighteen Essex schools made musical memories at four vocal festivals this Summer term.

This term we have focused on two districts – Braintree and Tendring – with all local primary schools invited to join our events. Our first two vocal festivals took place in Braintree, hosted by schools and the final two at the Princes Theatre in Clacton.

The aim of each festival is to support and enhance vocal delivery, to provide inspirational opportunities and access to large scale live music experiences for both Key Stages 1 & 2 children. The children had the unique opportunity of being accompanied by a live band.

The teachers who took up our invitation were introduced to a selection of songs, warm-ups at CPD sessions led by Kristian Parkes, one of our vocal tutors.  Songs were introduced from the library of music available from Charanga – an on-line resource offered by us to assist in the delivery of the national curriculum for music in primary schools. Find out more about Charanga here

Songs chosen to be performed by each school ranged from classics such as Penny Lane, Down by the Riverside, music from the musical Matilda and Pharrell Williams’ Happy.  All events ended with a rousing finale including Don’t Stop Believin’ and Living on a Prayer

Working within Charanga meant the teachers had easy access to the song lyrics including melody notation and so learning was easily continued after the workshop delivery.

All festivals were conducted by Kristian Parkes who is a well-known inspirational and enthusiastic vocal coach and conductor and has previously delivered many Vocal Festivals.

The Braintree Vocal Festivals were kindly hosted by both Alec Hunter Academy on 19 June and St Francis’s Catholic Primary School on 2 July. These day events offered closing afternoon concerts being performed to large and enthusiastic audiences full of parents and families.

The Clacton Vocal Festivals took place in the Princes Theatre on the evenings of 10 and 11 July and the children performed to a nearly full-houses with the finales being greeted by the audiences with enthusiastic standing ovations!